Bespoke Ball Park Fencing At Tarling Community Centre

Project Overview

Client Name


Date Complete

Sports & Recreation


To deliver the ultimate high security, yet aesthetically pleasing boundary for the Tarling Community Centre and to create a bespoke ‘roof’ for the ball park.


Tower Hamlets Community Housing - THCH is a Registered Social Landlord and a Registered Charity operating exclusively in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Its primary aim is to provide good quality homes for rent and shared ownership. The charity currently owns almost 3,000 homes, including over 1,900 tenanted properties and nearly 1,000 leasehold homes. The Tarling Community Centre, in Shadwell, London E1 is a purpose built community facility on the Tarling Estate developed by ML Hart Builders at a cost of £1.2 million. The Community Centre was officially opened in March 2010, and provides a wonderful resource for residents and community groups in the area. The centre was built using modern methods of construction and incorporates many energy saving devices including solar panels, green roofs and rainwater facilities. Adjoining the centre is a new play area and garden.

Jacksons Fencing, the leading designer, manufacturer and installer of quality fencing and access solutions was identified as the preferred supplier for a run of perimeter security fencing and gates. Barbican® square pale security fencing was specified to deliver the ultimate high security, yet aesthetically pleasing boundary for the Centre. The company’s Anti-Trap Bow Top® play area fencing was also selected as the best product for providing permanent protection for the newly installed play area. This RoSPA approved product is a strong favourite for public leisure applications since it conforms to all current play area safety guidelines (BS EN 1176) and features a wider gap between each hoop above the top rail, to ensure children cannot get their heads, necks or limbs stuck between the pales. And in an increasingly litigious society, the installation of this type of fencing is an important consideration for councils wishing to minimize the risk of public liability claims.

The final project for Jacksons Fencing was the creation of a 4.4m high EuroGuard® Flatform Ball Court, which featured welded mesh vandal proof panels and anti-climb properties. Whilst the client was delighted with the finished installation, after a period of time, Jacksons Fencing was re-contacted to see if the company could devise a means to overcome the issue of balls being thrown over the 4.4m fencing.

As the original pioneer of ball-stop fencing (in 1994 Jacksons Fencing was the first to provide a fencing structure strong enough to allow sports webbing / mesh to remain in place safely throughout the year), Jacksons was well placed to develop an innovative bespoke solution to resolve this problem. Members of the Jacksons in-house design team, Kevan Barrett and Jon Roach welcomed the opportunity to flex their creative muscles to develop a strong and durable roofing system for the Ball Court. The key challenge was to design and install a roof which would not interfere with the main structure and which would not result in the netting sagging at any point over the 19m x 16.5m Ball Court.

Over the weeks, the team designed and tested a range of concepts before arriving at their final recommendation. Kevan and Jon realised that the posts that were required to support the roofing system would have to be installed away from the original Ball Court Posts, and would also need to be designed to a much larger scale to prevent the tensioning wires bending or twisting under the load. The precise size and location of the posts and wires used on this application proved to be pivotal to the success of the overall installation, and indeed, was the subject of many extended debates!

The final netting roof structure was installed in June 2010 and increased the overall height of the Ball Court to 5.5m. In March 2011, Jacksons Fencing made a return visit to site to inspect the condition of the Ball Court and to ensure the weeks of fine-tuning the final design had proved a worthy investment. The newly installed netting roof has proved a resounding success, providing a practical solution to the escape of balls from the sports area, but with no compromise on either the aesthetic appeal or the overall functionality of the original Ball Court design.

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